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Thursday, July 30, 2009

[O/T] Falling Away From The Grid

Hi. I'm not a Luddite, but sometimes I play one on the internets. It's not always by choice.

If you watch television or get a lot of junk mail, you'd believe that we're in this glorious era of infinite electronic communication. Phones! Wireless! Wi-fi! 9thG internet! iPhones! Twitter! Eight gazillion channels of crystal clear television! I suppose that we are in that era, but since there's (usually) no such thing as a free lunch, you have to pay to play.

I've been slowly dropping off the grid for years now. A home telephone line was the first to go. Other than missing the very occasional "OMG I'm in jail" call on the weekends, there have been no negatives. I would say my quality of life actually improved, since I get 99% fewer telemarketing calls with just a cell phone. Cable TV went a few years ago and except for selected sporting events I don't miss that either. Sure, the whole "I'll have a bunch more time to do stuff around the house" plan hasn't worked out as intended - any time saved has been sucked up by the internets - but thanks largely to the 'net I haven't missed anything important.

It may be that the internet is the next to go, and the thought of that has me antsy. I've been less than 100% thrilled with my provider, but most of the time they've offered acceptable service. But as of any day now they're switching over to a new technology, one which would require completely different hardware and a physical installation that I'm not keen on. And the cost of service would increase ... by about 60% per month over what I've been paying.

The alternatives aren't promising - dialup or DSL would require a home phone line, and the last time I checked the cable company required that you at least pay for basic TV on top of their internet service charge. Obviously I will check again, but ... sigh.

Change is hard. On a personal level, just letting it go would probably be a good thing - about 99% of all time spent on the internet at home is wasted, maybe a few ticks lower than that if you factor in the couple things I do to bring in a dollar here and there. There just isn't a real reason that I couldn't do those things at work during off hours. It's not like it's that far away.

Time will tell what I end up doing, but I do know this - if I drop the home internet any online (play chip) poker play will quickly drop to zero.

Or maybe it's just Thursday and I'm annoyed with being at work.

1 comment:

WindBreak247 said...

As far as I know, you can get DSL w/o having a home phone line. Technically you will have a "home phone line" that the phone company identifies you by, but you don't have to pay and actually have the service. This is how I'm setup for my internet.